In this paper, graphene oxide/styrene-butadiene rubber (GO/SBR) composites with complete exfoliation of GO sheets were prepared by aqueous-phase mixing of GO colloid with SBR latex and a small loading of butadiene-styrene-vinyl-pyridine rubber (VPR) latex, followed by their co-coagulation. During co-coagulation, VPR not only plays a key role in the prevention of aggregation of GO sheets but also acts as an interface-bridge between GO and SBR. The results demonstrated that the mechanical properties of the GO/SBR composite with 2.0 vol.% GO is comparable with those of the SBR composite reinforced with 13.1 vol.% of carbon black (CB), with a low mass density and a good gas barrier ability to boot. The present work also showed that GO-silica/SBR composite exhibited outstanding wear resistance and low-rolling resistance which make GO-silica/SBR very competitive for the green tire application, opening up enormous opportunities to prepare high performance rubber composites for future engineering applications.
To analyze the effect of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on prognosis of ischemic stroke secondary to intracranial stenosis in Chinese patients.
A prospective cohort of 701 patients with ischemic stroke, caused by intracranial stenosis, were followed at 3-month intervals for 1 year to monitor development of recurrent stroke or death. Imaging was performed using magnetic resonance angiography. MetS was defined using International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria.
MetS was identified in 26.0% of the cohort of stroke patients. Patients with MetS were more likely to be female, nonsmokers, and more likely to have a prior history of diabetes mellitus, high blood glucose and a family history of stroke than patients without MetS. During 1-year follow-up, patients with MetS had a non-significantly higher rate of stroke recurrence (7.1%) than patients without MetS (3.9%; P = 0.07). There was no difference in mortality (3.3% versus 3.5%, respectively). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis (adjusting for gender, BMI, smoking, diabetes, and LDL-C) identified an association between that 1-year stroke recurrence and the presence of MetS (hazard ratio 2.30; 95% CI: 1.01–5.22) and large waist circumference (hazard ratio: 2.39; 95% CI: 1.05–5.42). However, multivariable analysis adjusting for the individual components of MetS found no significant associations between MetS and stroke recurrence. There were no associations between these parameters and mortality.
Chinese patients with symptomatic intracranial atherosclerosis who have MetS, are at higher risk of recurrent stroke than those without MetS. However, MetS was not predictive of stroke recurrence beyond its individual components and one-year mortality.
Parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) infects a wide range of animals including dogs, pigs, cats, and humans; however, its association with disease in humans remains controversial. In contrast to parainfluenza virus 3 (PIV3) or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), PIV5 is remarkably non-cytopathic in monolayer cultures of immortalized epithelial cells. To compare the cytopathology produced by these viruses in a relevant human tissue, we infected an in vitro model of human ciliated airway epithelium and measured outcomes of cytopathology. PIV5, PIV3 and, RSV all infected ciliated cells, and PIV5 and PIV3 infection was dependent on sialic acid residues. Only PIV5-infected cells formed syncytia. PIV5 infection resulted in a more rapid loss of infected cells by shedding of infected cells into the lumen. These studies revealed striking differences in cytopathology of PIV5 versus PIV3 or RSV and indicate the extent of cytopathology determined in cell-lines does not predict events in differentiated airway cells.
Parainfluenza virus; respiratory syncytial virus; airway epithelium; cytopathic effect; viral pathogenesis; syncytia; ciliated cell shedding; viral persistence; multi-potent progenitor cells; 3-dimensional (3-D) image reconstruction
Pseudomonas fluorescens 2P24 is a rhizospheric bacterium that aggressively colonizes the plant roots. It produces the antibiotic 2,4-diacetylphoroglucinol (2,4-DAPG), which contributes to the protection of various crop plants against soil borne diseases caused by bacterial and fungal pathogens. The biosynthesis of 2,4-DAPG is regulated at the transcriptional level in the expression of the phlACBD operon as well as at the posttranscriptional level by the Gac/Rsm signal transduction pathway. However, the detailed mechanism of such regulation is not clear.
In this study, we identified a binding site for the sigma regulator PsrA in the promoter region of the phlA gene. Electrophoretic mobility shift experiments revealed direct and specific binding of PsrA to the phlA promoter region. Consistent with the fact that its binding site locates within the promoter region of phlA, PsrA negatively regulates phlA expression, and its inactivation led to significant increase in 2,4-DAPG production. Interestingly, PsrA also activates the expression of the sigma factor RpoS, which negatively regulates 2,4-DAPG production by inducing the expression of the RNA-binding protein RsmA.
These results suggest that PsrA is an important regulator that modulates 2,4-DAPG biosynthesis at both transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels.
AAV1 and AAV6 are two closely related AAV serotypes. In the present study, we found AAV6 was more efficient in transducing mouse lower airway epithelia in vitro and in vivo than AAV1. To further explore the mechanism of this difference, we found that significantly more AAV1 bound to mouse airway epithelia than AAV6, yet transduction by AAV6 was far superior. Lectin competition assays demonstrated that both AAV1 and AAV6 similarly utilize α-2, 3-, and to a lesser extend α-2, 6- linked sialic acids as the receptors for transduction. Furthermore, the rates of AAV endocytosis could not account for the transduction differences of AAV1 and AAV6. Finally, it was revealed that AAV6 was less susceptible to ubiquitin/proteasome-mediated blocks than AAV1 when transducing mouse airway epithelia. Thus compared with AAV1, AAV6 has a unique ability to escape proteasome-mediated degradation, which is likely responsible for its higher transduction efficiency in mouse airway epithelium.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and its metabolite adenosine regulate airway mucociliary clearance via activation of purinoceptors. In this study, we investigated the contribution of goblet cells to airway epithelial ATP release. Primary human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cultures, typically dominated by ciliated cells, were induced to develop goblet cell metaplasia by infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or treatment with IL-13. Under resting conditions, goblet-cell metaplastic cultures displayed enhanced mucin secretion accompanied by increased rates of ATP release and mucosal surface adenosine accumulation as compared with nonmetaplastic control HBE cultures. Intracellular calcium chelation [1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid tetraacetoxymethyl ester] or disruption of the secretory pathways (nocodazole, brefeldin A, and N-ethylmaleimide) decreased mucin secretion and ATP release in goblet-cell metaplastic HBE cultures. Conversely, stimuli that triggered calcium-regulated mucin secretion (e.g., ionomycin or UTP) increased luminal ATP release and adenyl purine accumulation in control and goblet-cell metaplastic HBE cultures. Goblet cell–associated ATP release was not blocked by the connexin/pannexin hemichannel inhibitor carbenoxolone, suggesting direct nucleotide release from goblet cell vesicles rather than the hemichannel insertion. Collectively, our data demonstrate that nucleotide release is increased by goblet cell metaplasia, reflecting, at least in part, a mechanism tightly associated with goblet cell mucin secretion. Increased goblet cell nucleotide release and resultant adenosine accumulation provide compensatory mechanisms to hydrate mucins by paracrine stimulation of ciliated cell ion and water secretion and maintain mucociliary clearance, and to modulate inflammatory responses.
goblet cell metaplasia; ATP release; mucin; airway epithelia; RSV
Deletion of the Mesd gene region blocks gastrulation and mesoderm differentiation in mice. MESD is a chaperone for the Wnt co-receptors: low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) 5 and 6 (LRP5/6). We hypothesized that loss of Wnt signaling is responsible for the polarity defects observed in Mesd deficient embryos. However, because the Mesd deficient embryo is considerably smaller than Lrp5/6 or Wnt3 mutants, we predicted that MESD function extends more broadly to the LRP family of receptors. Consistent with this prediction, we demonstrated that MESD function in vitro was essential for maturation of the β-propeller/EGF domain common to LRPs. To begin to understand the role of MESD in LRP maturation in vivo, we generated a targeted Mesd knockout and verified that loss of Mesd blocks WNT signaling in vivo. Mesd mutants continue to express pluripotency markers, Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2, suggesting that Wnt signaling is essential for differentiation of the epiblast. Moreover, we demonstrated that MESD was essential for the apical localization of the related LRP2 (Megalin/MEG) in the visceral endoderm, resulting in impaired endocytic function. Combined, our results provide evidence that MESD functions as a general LRP chaperone, and suggest that the Mesd phenotype results from both signaling and endocytic defects resulting from mis-folding of multiple LRP receptors.
mesd; lrp; low-density lipoprotein receptor related protein; visceral endoderm; megalin; lrp2; lysosome; chaperone; wnt
Zhang and colleagues examine the efficacy of a replication-competent parainfluenza virus (PIV)-based vector for airway gene transfer applications. Using an in vitro model of rhesus airway epithelium, the authors demonstrate that PIV mediates efficient gene transfer in rhesus epithelium. In vivo experiments revealed that intranasal administration of a PIV vector expressing rhesus macaque α-fetoprotein (rhAFP) results in the transient secretion of rhAFP in both mucosal and serosal compartments.
Over the last two decades, enormous effort has been focused on developing virus-based gene delivery vectors to target the respiratory airway epithelium as a potential treatment for cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. However, amongst other problems, the efficiency of gene delivery to the differentiated airway epithelial cells of the lung has been too low for clinical benefit. Although not a target for CF therapy, the nasal epithelium exhibits cellular morphology and composition similar to that of the lower airways, thus representing an accessible and relevant tissue target for evaluating novel and improved gene delivery vectors. We previously reported that replication-competent human parainfluenza virus (PIV)-based vectors efficiently deliver the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene to sufficient numbers of cultured CF airway epithelial cells to completely correct the bioelectric function of CF cells to normal levels, resulting in restoration of mucus transport. Here, using an in vitro model of rhesus airway epithelium, we demonstrate that PIV mediates efficient gene transfer in rhesus epithelium as in the human counterpart. Naive rhesus macaques were inoculated intranasally with a PIV vector expressing rhesus macaque α-fetoprotein (rhAFP), and expression was monitored longitudinally. rhAFP was detected in nasal lavage fluid and in serum samples, indicating that PIV-mediated gene transfer was effective and that rhAFP was secreted into both mucosal and serosal compartments. Although expression was transient, lasting up to 10 days, it paralleled virus replication, suggesting that as PIV was cleared, rhAFP expression was lost. No adverse reactions or signs of discomfort were noted, and only mild, transient elevations of a small number of inflammatory cytokines were measured at the peak of virus replication. In summary, rhAFP proved suitable for monitoring in vivo gene delivery over time, and PIV vectors appear to be promising airway-specific gene transfer vehicles that warrant further development.
Barriers to infection act at multiple levels to prevent viruses, bacteria, and parasites from commandeering host cells for their own purposes. An intriguing hypothesis is that if a cell experiences stress, such as that elicited by inflammation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) expansion, or misfolded proteins, then subcellular barriers will be less effective at preventing viral infection. Here we have used models of cystic fibrosis (CF) to test whether subcellular stress increases susceptibility to adeno-associated virus (AAV) infection. In human airway epithelium cultured at an air/liquid interface, physiological conditions of subcellular stress and ER expansion were mimicked using supernatant from mucopurulent material derived from CF lungs. Using this inflammatory stimulus to recapitulate stress found in diseased airways, we demonstrated that AAV infection was significantly enhanced. Since over 90% of CF cases are associated with a misfolded variant of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (ΔF508-CFTR), we then explored whether the presence of misfolded proteins could independently increase susceptibility to AAV infection. In these models, AAV was an order of magnitude more efficient at transducing cells expressing ΔF508-CFTR than in cells expressing wild-type CFTR. Rescue of misfolded ΔF508-CFTR under low temperature conditions restored viral transduction efficiency to that demonstrated in controls, suggesting effects related to protein misfolding were responsible for increasing susceptibility to infection. By testing other CFTR mutants, G551D, D572N, and 1410X, we have shown this phenomenon is common to other misfolded proteins and not related to loss of CFTR activity. The presence of misfolded proteins did not affect cell surface attachment of virus or influence expression levels from promoter transgene cassettes in plasmid transfection studies, indicating exploitation occurs at the level of virion trafficking or processing. Thus, we surmised that factors enlisted to process misfolded proteins such as ΔF508-CFTR in the secretory pathway also act to restrict viral infection. In line with this hypothesis, we found that AAV trafficked to the microtubule organizing center and localized near Golgi/ER transport proteins. Moreover, AAV infection efficiency could be modulated with siRNA-mediated knockdown of proteins involved in processing ΔF508-CFTR or sorting retrograde cargo from the Golgi and ER (calnexin, KDEL-R, β-COP, and PSMB3). In summary, our data support a model where AAV exploits a compromised secretory system and, importantly, underscore the gravity with which a stressed subcellular environment, under internal or external insults, can impact infection efficiency.
Misfolded proteins have been associated with a variety of disorders such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes insipidus, alpha-antitrypsin deficiency, Parkinson's disease, and cancer. In this study, by using cellular models of events in cystic fibrosis lung disease we have revealed an effect of misfolded proteins on increasing susceptibility to infection with a parvovirus. Infection efficiency was an order of magnitude higher in cells expressing misfolded Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) mutant proteins than in cells expressing the correctly folded protein. During infection, virus capsids accumulated near cellular factors that normally process misfolded proteins and are involved in retrograde trafficking from the Golgi to endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that infection efficiency can be attenuated by restoring correct protein folding or augmented by siRNA-mediated knockdown of secretory pathway components. Taken together our results indicate that converging cellular systems operate to clear misfolded proteins and virus capsids from an infected cell. We raise the possibility that parvoviruses and perhaps other viruses exploit congested cellular secretory pathways during entry, and that viral infection could be a contributing factor in the progression of diseases associated with misfolded proteins.
Thyroid hormone is critical for the proper development of the central nervous system. However, the specific role of thyroid hormone on brain angiogenesis remains poorly understood. Treatment of rats from birth to postnatal day 21 (P21) with propylthiouracil (PTU), a reversible blocker of triiodothyronine (T3) synthesis, resulted in decreased brain angiogenesis, as indicated by reduced complexity and density of microvessels. However, when PTU was withdrawn at P22, these parameters were fully recovered by P90. These changes were paralleled by an altered expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (Vegfa) and basic fibroblast growth factor (Fgf2). Physiologic concentrations of T3 and thyroxine (T4) stimulated proliferation and tubulogenesis of rat brain-derived endothelial (RBE4) cells in vitro. Protein and mRNA levels of VEGF-A and FGF-2 increased after T3 stimulation of RBE4 cells. The thyroid hormone receptor blocker NH-3 abolished T3-induced Fgf2 and Vegfa upregulation, indicating a receptor-mediated effect. Thyroid hormone inhibited the apoptosis in RBE4 cells and altered mRNA levels of apoptosis-related genes, namely Bcl2 and Bad. The present results show that thyroid hormone has a substantial impact on vasculature development in the brain. Pathologically altered vascularization could, therefore, be a contributing factor to the neurologic deficits induced by thyroid hormone deficiency.
angiogenesis; apoptosis; endothelial cells; fibroblast growth factor 2; postnatal hypothyroidism; vascular endothelial growth factor
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common lethal recessive genetic disease in the Caucasian population. It is caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene that is normally expressed in ciliated airway epithelial cells and the submucosal glands of the lung. Since the CFTR gene was first characterized in 1989, a major goal has been to develop an effective gene therapy for CF lung disease, which has the potential to ameliorate morbidity and mortality. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) naturally infects the ciliated cells in the human airway epithelium. In addition, the immune response mounted against an RSV infection does not prevent subsequent infections, suggesting that an RSV-based vector might be effectively readministered. To test whether the large 4.5-kb CFTR gene could be expressed by a recombinant RSV and whether infectious virus could be used to deliver CFTR to ciliated airway epithelium derived from CF patients, we inserted the CFTR gene into four sites in a recombinant green fluorescent protein-expressing RSV (rgRSV) genome to generate virus expressing four different levels of CFTR protein. Two of these four rgRSV-CFTR vectors were capable of expressing CFTR with little effect on viral replication. rgRSV-CFTR infection of primary human airway epithelial cultures derived from CF patients resulted in expression of CFTR protein that was properly localized at the luminal surface and corrected the chloride ion channel defect in these cells.
Recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors expressing the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene have been used to deliver CFTR to the airway epithelium of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. However, no significant CFTR function has been demonstrated likely due to low transduction efficiencies of the AAV vectors. To improve AAV transduction efficiency for human airway epithelium, we generated a chimeric AAV library and performed directed evolution of AAV on an in vitro model of human ciliated airway epithelium. Two independent and novel AAV variants were identified that contained capsid components from AAV-1, AAV-6, and/or AAV-9. The transduction efficiencies of the two novel AAV variants for human ciliated airway epithelium were three times higher than that for AAV6. The novel variants were then used to deliver CFTR to ciliated airway epithelium from CF patients. Here we show that our novel AAV variants but not the parental AAV provide sufficient CFTR delivery to correct the chloride ion transport defect to ~25% levels measured in non-CF cells. These results suggest that directed evolution of AAV on relevant in vitro models will enable further improvements in CFTR gene transfer efficiency and the development of an efficacious and safe gene transfer vector for CF lung disease.
Mammalian airways normally regulate the volume of a thin liquid layer, the periciliary liquid (PCL), to facilitate the mucus clearance component of lung defense. Studies under standard (static) culture conditions revealed that normal airway epithelia possess an adenosine-regulated pathway that blends Na+ absorption and Cl− secretion to optimize PCL volume. In cystic fibrosis (CF), the absence of CF transmembrane conductance regulator results in a failure of adenosine regulation of PCL volume, which is predicted to initiate mucus stasis and infection. However, under conditions that mimic the phasic motion of the lung in vivo, ATP release into PCL was increased, CF ion transport was rebalanced, and PCL volume was restored to levels adequate for lung defense. This ATP signaling system was vulnerable, however, to insults that trigger CF bacterial infections, such as viral (respiratory syncitial virus) infections, which up-regulated extracellular ATPase activity and abolished motion-dependent ATP regulation of CF PCL height. These studies demonstrate (i) how the normal coordination of opposing ion transport pathways to maintain PCL volume is disrupted in CF, (ii) the hitherto unknown role of phasic motion in regulating key aspects of normal and CF innate airways defense, and (iii) that maneuvers directed at increasing motion-induced nucleotide release may be therapeutic in CF patients.
We previously demonstrated that coadministration of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) with grafts of Schwann cells (SCs) enhanced axonal regeneration and remyelination following spinal cord injury (SCI). However, the cellular target through which GDNF mediates such actions was unclear. Here, we report that GDNF enhanced both the number and caliber of regenerated axons in vivo and increased neurite outgrowth of dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRGN) in vitro, suggesting that GDNF has a direct effect on neurons. In SC-DRGN coculture, GDNF significantly increased the number of myelin sheaths produced by SCs. GDNF treatment had no effect on the proliferation of isolated SCs but enhanced the proliferation of SCs already in contact with axons. GDNF increased the expression of the 140 kDa neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) in isolated SCs but not their expression of the adhesion molecule L1 or the secretion of the neurotrophins NGF, NT3, or BDNF. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that GDNF-enhanced axonal regeneration and SC myelination is mediated mainly through a direct effect of GDNF on neurons. They also suggest that the combination of GDNF administration and SC transplantation may represent an effective strategy to promote axonal regeneration and myelin formation after injury in the spinal cord.
GDNF; axon; myelination; regeneration; Schwann cell; spinal cord injury
Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) contains a heavily glycosylated 90-kDa attachment glycoprotein (G). Infection of HEp-2 and Vero cells in culture depends largely on virion G protein binding to cell surface glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). This GAG-dependent phenotype has been described for RSV grown in HEp-2 cells, but we have found that it is greatly reduced by a single passage in Vero cells. Virions produced from Vero cells primarily display a 55-kDa G glycoprotein. This smaller G protein represents a post-Golgi compartment form that is lacking its C terminus, indicating that the C terminus is required for GAG dependency. Vero cell-grown virus infected primary well-differentiated human airway epithelial (HAE) cell cultures 600-fold less efficiently than did HEp-2 cell-grown virus, indicating that the C terminus of the G protein is also required for virus attachment to this model of the in vivo target cells. This reduced infectivity for HAE cell cultures is not likely to be due to the loss of GAG attachment since heparan sulfate, the primary GAG used by RSV for attachment to HEp-2 cells, is not detectable at the apical surface of HAE cell cultures where RSV enters. Growing RSV stocks in Vero cells could dramatically reduce the initial infection of the respiratory tract in animal models or in volunteers receiving attenuated virus vaccines, thereby reducing the efficiency of infection or the efficacy of the vaccine.
Grafting oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) has been used as a strategy to repair demyelination of the central nervous system (CNS). Whether OPCs can promote CNS axonal regeneration remains to be tested. If so, they should be permissive to axonal growth and may express less inhibitory molecules on their surface. Here we examined the expression of two oligodendrocyte-associated myelin inhibitors Nogo-A and myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) during oligodendrogliogenesis and tested their abilities to promote neurite outgrowth in vitro. Whereas the intracellular domain of Nogo-A was consistently expressed throughout oligodendrocyte differentiation, MAG was expressed only at later stages. Furthermore, the membrane-associated extracellular domain of Nogo-A was not expressed in OPCs but expressed in mature oligodendrocytes. In a dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and OPC/oligodendrocyte co-culture model, significantly greater DRG neurite outgrowth onto OPC monolayer than mature oligodendrocyte was found (1042 ± 123 vs. 717 ± 342 micrometer; p = 0.011). Moreover, DRG neurites elongated as fasciculated fiber tracts and contacted directly on OPCs (133 ± 37 cells/fascicle). In contrast, few, if any, direct contacts were found between DRG neurites and mature oligodendrocytes (5 ± 3 cells/fascicle, p<0.001). In fact, acellular spaces were found between neurites and surrounding mature oligodendrocytes in contrast to the lack of such spaces in OPC/DRG coculture (51.1 ± 16.5 vs. 2.4 ± 3.9 micrometer; p<0.001). Thus, OPCs expressing neither extracellular domain of Nogo-A nor MAG are significantly more permissive than mature oligodendrocytes expressing both. Grafting OPCs may thus represent a feasible strategy to foster CNS axonal regeneration.
Myelin inhibitors; MAG; Neurite outgrowth; Nogo-A; OPC
A highly augmented, prostate-specific two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) method was developed with the ultimate goal of delivering an effective and safe gene-based treatment to prostate cancer patients. Because very limited treatment options are available for recurrent hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC), it is imperative to assess whether the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) promoter-based TSTA gene therapy will be functional in HRPC.
We tested the TSTA-driven adenovirus vector on three androgen-dependent and six HRPC models. Real-time gene expression was monitored by both optical imaging and the combined modality of positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography.
The TSTA-driven firefly luciferase expressing adenoviral vector was active in all androgen receptor (AR)–expressing HRPC models, but inactive in AR- and PSA-negative lines. Interestingly, the TSTA-mediated gene expression was induced by hydrocortisone in MDA PCa 2b, a cell line with mutated AR that possesses altered ligand specificity. In animal models, the TSTA-mediated optical signal was more robust in the HRPC than androgen-dependent tumors. In a parallel trend, a TSTA vector that expresses the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase PET reporter gene also displayed more robust PET signal in the HRPC tumor.
The activity of TSTA system is AR dependent and it recapitulates the functional status of endogenous AR. These data support the conclusion that AR function is activated in HRPC despite castrated levels of androgen. Together with the fact that majority of recurrent prostate cancers express AR and PSA, we foresee that the TSTA approach can be a promising gene therapy strategy for the advanced stages of prostate cancer.
Gene expression-based imaging coupled to gene therapy will permit the prediction of therapeutic outcome. A significant challenge for successful gene therapy is to achieve a high-level of specific gene expression; however, tissue-specific promoters are weak. We postulate that if the weak activity of tissue-specific promoters can be amplified to the levels of strong viral promoters, which have been successful in preclinical scenarios, while retaining specificity, the therapeutic index of gene therapy can be greatly augmented. With this in mind, we developed a two-step transcriptional activation (TSTA) system. In this two-tiered system, a modified prostate-specific antigen promoter was employed to drive a potent synthetic transcriptional activator, GAL4-VP2. This, in turn, activated the expression of a GAL4-dependent reporter or therapeutic gene. Here we demonstrate that recombinant adenoviral vectors (Ads) in which we have incorporated prostate-targeted TSTA expression cassettes retain cell specificity and androgen responsiveness in cell culture and in animal models, as measured by noninvasive optical bioluminescence imaging. We investigated the mechanism of TSTA in different adenoviral configurations. In one configuration, both the activator and the reporter components are inserted into a single Ad (AdTSTA-FL). The activity of AdTSTA-FL exceeds that of a cytomegalovirus promoter-driven vector (AdCMV-FL), while maintaining tissue specificity. When the activator and reporter components are placed in two separate Ads, androgen induction is more robust than for the single AdTSTA-FL. Based on these findings, we hope to refine the TSTA Ads further to improve the efficacy and safety of prostate cancer gene therapy.
prostate-specific expression; two-tiered amplification; androgen regulation; adenoviral vector; optical imaging
We generated a new live-attenuated vaccine against Ebola virus (EBOV) based on a chimeric virus HPIV3/ΔF-HN/EboGP that contains the EBOV glycoprotein (GP) as the sole transmembrane envelope protein combined with the internal proteins of human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3). Electron microscopy analysis of the virus particles showed that they have an envelope and surface spikes resembling those of EBOV and a particle size and shape resembling those of HPIV3. When HPIV3/ΔF-HN/EboGP was inoculated via apical surface of an in vitro model of human ciliated airway epithelium, the virus was released from the apical surface; when applied to basolateral surface, the virus infected basolateral cells but did not spread through the tissue. Following intranasal (IN) inoculation of guinea pigs, scattered infected cells were detected in the lungs by immunohistochemistry, but infectious HPIV3/ΔF-HN/EboGP could not be recovered from the lungs, blood, or other tissues. Despite the attenuation, the virus was highly immunogenic, and a single IN dose completely protected the animals against a highly lethal intraperitoneal challenge of guinea pig-adapted EBOV.
This article reviews the degradability of chemically synthesized bioelastomers, mainly designed for soft tissue repair. These bioelastomers involve biodegradable polyurethanes, polyphosphazenes, linear and crosslinked poly(ether/ester)s, poly(ε-caprolactone) copolymers, poly(1,3-trimethylene carbonate) and their copolymers, poly(polyol sebacate)s, poly(diol-citrates) and poly(ester amide)s. The in vitro and in vivo degradation mechanisms and impact factors influencing degradation behaviors are discussed. In addition, the molecular designs, synthesis methods, structure properties, mechanical properties, biocompatibility and potential applications of these bioelastomers were also presented.
bioelastomer; biodegradable; biocompatible; polyurethanes; polyphosphazenes; poly(ether ester); poly(ε-caprolactone); poly(1, 3-trimethylene carbonate); poly(polyol sebacate)s; poly(diol-citrates); poly(ester amide)s
Delivering CFTR to ciliated cells of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients fully restores ion and fluid transport to the lumenal surface of airway epithelium and returns mucus transport rates to those of non-CF airways.
Dysfunction of CFTR in cystic fibrosis (CF) airway epithelium perturbs the normal regulation of ion transport, leading to a reduced volume of airway surface liquid (ASL), mucus dehydration, decreased mucus transport, and mucus plugging of the airways. CFTR is normally expressed in ciliated epithelial cells of the surface and submucosal gland ductal epithelium and submucosal gland acinar cells. Critical questions for the development of gene transfer strategies for CF airway disease are what airway regions require CFTR function and how many epithelial cells require CFTR expression to restore normal ASL volume regulation and mucus transport to CF airway epithelium? An in vitro model of human CF ciliated surface airway epithelium (CF HAE) was used to test whether a human parainfluenza virus (PIV) vector engineered to express CFTR (PIVCFTR) could deliver sufficient CFTR to CF HAE to restore mucus transport, thus correcting the CF phenotype. PIVCFTR delivered CFTR to >60% of airway surface epithelial cells and expressed CFTR protein in CF HAE approximately 100-fold over endogenous levels in non-CF HAE. This efficiency of CFTR delivery fully corrected the basic bioelectric defects of Cl− and Na+ epithelial ion transport and restored ASL volume regulation and mucus transport to levels approaching those of non-CF HAE. To determine the numbers of CF HAE surface epithelial cells required to express CFTR for restoration of mucus transport to normal levels, different amounts of PIVCFTR were used to express CFTR in 3%–65% of the surface epithelial cells of CF HAE and correlated to increasing ASL volumes and mucus transport rates. These data demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that restoration of normal mucus transport rates in CF HAE was achieved after CFTR delivery to 25% of surface epithelial cells. In vivo experimentation in appropriate models will be required to determine what level of mucus transport will afford clinical benefit to CF patients, but we predict that a future goal for corrective gene transfer to the CF human airways in vivo would attempt to target at least 25% of surface epithelial cells to achieve mucus transport rates comparable to those in non-CF airways.
The ciliated epithelium that lines the conducting airways of the lung normally functions to transport hydrated mucus secretions out of the airways to maintain respiratory sterility. Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease results from reduced airway surface hydration leading to decreased mucus clearance that precipitates bacterial infection and progressive obstructive lung disease. CF is a genetic disease, and the mutant protein is a chloride ion channel (CFTR) that normally regulates ion and fluid transport on the airway surface. Restoration of corrected CFTR function to the airway epithelium of CF patients by delivering a new CFTR gene to airway epithelial cells has long been envisioned as a therapeutic strategy for CF lung disease. Towards this goal, we use a novel viral vector to deliver CFTR to a culture model that represents the ciliated airway epithelium of CF patients and show that this strategy restores airway surface hydration and mucus transport to levels of that in non-CF individuals. This study demonstrates efficient and efficacious CFTR delivery to CF ciliated airway epithelium and that CFTR delivered to approximately 25% of the surface epithelial cells restores normal levels of airway surface hydration and mucus transport. These studies serve as a benchmark for the efficiency of CFTR gene delivery to CF airways for future CF gene therapy studies in vivo.
We constructed a human recombinant parainfluenza virus type 3 (rPIV3) that expresses enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP) and used this virus, rgPIV3, to characterize PIV3 infection of an established in vitro model of human pseudostratified mucociliary airway epithelium (HAE). The apical surface of HAE was highly susceptible to rgPIV3 infection, whereas only occasional cells were infected when virus was applied to the basolateral surface. Infection involved exclusively ciliated epithelial cells. There was little evidence of virus-mediated cytopathology and no spread of the virus beyond the ciliated cell types. Infection of ciliated cells by rgPIV3 was sensitive to a neuraminidase specific for α2-6-linked sialic acid residues, but not to a neuraminidase that cleaves α2-3- and α2-8-linked sialic acid residues. This provided evidence that rgPIV3 utilizes α2-6-linked sialic acid residues for initiating infection, a specificity also described for human influenza viruses. The PIV3 fusion (F) glycoprotein was trafficked exclusively to the apical surface of ciliated cells, which also was the site of release of progeny virus. F glycoprotein localized predominately to the membranes of the cilial shafts, suggesting that progeny viruses may bud from cilia per se. The polarized trafficking of F glycoprotein to the apical surface also likely restricts its interaction with neighboring cells and could account for the observed lack of cell-cell fusion. HAE derived from cystic fibrosis patients was not more susceptible to rgPIV3 infection but did exhibit limited spread of virus due to impaired movement of lumenal secretions due to compromised function of the cilia.
Diabetic hyperglycemia increases ischemic brain damage in experimental animals and humans. The mechanisms are unclear but may involve enhanced apoptosis in penumbral regions. Estrogen is an established neuroprotectant in experimental stroke. Our previous study demonstrated that female diabetic db/db mice suffered less damage following cerebral hypoxia-ischemia (H/I) than male db/db mice. Here we investigated the effects of diabetes and estrogen apoptotic gene expression following H/I. Female db/db and nondiabetic (+/?) mice were ovariectomized (OVX) and treated with estrogen or vehicle prior to H/I; brains were analyzed for damage and bcl-2 family gene expression. OVX increased ischemic damage in +/? mice; estrogen reduced tissue injury and enhanced antiapoptotic gene expression (bcl-2 and bfl-1). db/db mice demonstrated more damage, without increased bcl-2 mRNA; bfl-1 expression appeared at 48 hours of recovery associated with infarction. To our knowledge, this is the first description of bfl-1 in the brain with localization to microglia and macrophages. Early induction of bfl-1 expression in +/? mouse brain was associated with microglia; delayed bfl-1 expression in diabetic brain was in macrophages bordering the infarct. Furthermore, estrogen replacement stimulated early postischemic expression of bcl-2 and bfl-1 and reduced damage in normoglycemic animals but failed to protect the diabetic brain.
Gene therapy for cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease requires efficient gene transfer to airway epithelial cells after intralumenal delivery. Most gene transfer vectors so far tested have not provided the efficiency required. Although human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common respiratory virus, is known to infect the respiratory epithelium, the mechanism of infection and the epithelial cell type targeted by RSV have not been determined. We have utilized human primary airway epithelial cell cultures that generate a well-differentiated pseudostratified mucociliary epithelium to investigate whether RSV infects airway epithelium via the lumenal (apical) surface. A recombinant RSV expressing green fluorescent protein (rgRSV) infected epithelial cell cultures with high gene transfer efficiency when applied to the apical surface but not after basolateral inoculation. Analyses of the cell types infected by RSV revealed that lumenal columnar cells, specifically ciliated epithelial cells, were targeted by RSV and that cultures became susceptible to infection as they differentiated into a ciliated phenotype. In addition to infection of ciliated cells via the apical membrane, RSV was shed exclusively from the apical surface and spread to neighboring ciliated cells by the motion of the cilial beat. Gross histological examination of cultures infected with RSV revealed no evidence of obvious cytopathology, suggesting that RSV infection in the absence of an immune response can be tolerated for >3 months. Therefore, rgRSV efficiently transduced the airway epithelium via the lumenal surface and specifically targeted ciliated airway epithelial cells. Since rgRSV appears to breach the lumenal barriers encountered by other gene transfer vectors in the airway, this virus may be a good candidate for the development of a gene transfer vector for CF lung disease.